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Paralegal Career Dressing: Goodwill Goldmine

Paralegal Career Dressing: Goodwill Goldmine

I can’t figure out for the life of me why I’ve never shopped in the largest central Goodwill in our own city. I’ve hit up the one closest to our house, but didn’t discover the real Goodwill goldmine until this weekend. It’s super clean, light, well-organized, and has an enormous selection.

Liz Claiborne blouse (inspired by Lydia’s Equipment blouse)
Talbots hot pink tee
New York & Company tunic
ny collection plaid skirt
Old Navy sweater
Liz Baker navy blue low-heeled pumps
tm Oxford heels
LizClaiborne purse

I have a list of items I’d like to add to or replace in my working wardrobe, for many reasons, including inspired by other bloggers’ looks, seeking a few fall trends (navy blue, equestrian), or needing clothes that fit my skinny pencil, petite figure better. I’ve learned a lot from looking at my own outfit pics (many of which y’all will never see, yikes!), and I’m beginning to understand what I feel very comfortable in, what colors and shapes don’t like me even if I like them, and that it’s really important that I wear clothes that fit me now and not two larger sizes ago.

But we’re a family of modest means. The Absent-Minded Professor has a long commute to the college where he works, the teens need funds for something at school every time we turn around, college for two daughters is looming near, and we’ve had more than our share of medical crises over the last couple of years. Hence, my increased interest in thrifting, and hopefully, doing some clothes-swapping or even just hand-me-down-ing, contributing to The Great Circle of Clothes (and Bling).

Ann Taylor polka dot blouse (lots of covered buttons & pleated hem)
American Eagle green striped button front shirt
Banana Republic extra fine Italian Merino sweater
Loft black dress
Cache black snake skin print pants (expensive brand ’round these parts)
Boutique Essentials navy plaid jacket (“grandma jacket” in my world – love them!)
Evan Picone plaid blazer (nod to the equestrian trend, plus goes with all my winter clothes)

For the upcoming work week, I’m going to wear at least one item every day that came from Goodwill. I’m sharing pics of items acquired in the last two weeks – nothing cost over $5, and some items were unworn and still had tags. My haul included finds for my boss and my buddy Megan, but now that I know some more friends’ sizes and wishes from Sheila’s super fun Clothing Swap party, I’ll be keeping an eye out for them as well.

Oh, and if you’ve worn a cool “GW Boutique”, Dylan’s name for Goodwill (or international equivalent if you don’t have Goodwill where you live), I’d love to do a post sharing one of your outfit pics, maybe call it “We Struck Gold at Goodwill”. I know you’re busy, so how ’bout we make the deadline October 1? Send your pic and note the Goodwill item to

20 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: Goodwill Goldmine

  1. We don't have Goodwill in the UK but looking at that haul I'm wishing we did. I keep a mental note of my friends' sizes, too, just on the off-chance I see something spectacular. x

  2. Wow, that's quite a serious haul! I am looking forward to seeing you wearing your GW Boutique items!
    This is going off at a tangent, but I am hoping you will help, Lynne!
    Can you explain Goodwills to me? Are they like our UK charity shops? They don't sound like it somehow. Charity shops are usually small, each run by a different charitable organisation as a fundraising venture, many large national concerns, some small and local, and donations come from members of the public taking their old stuff in. There can be a mixture of anything, clothing, accessories, books, household stuff, toys, etc. though many shops aren't big enough to sell furniture.
    Who runs Goodwills? Where does the stock come from? Who gets the money? They all seem huge, from the photos bloggers have posted which I have seen. Is the stock primarily clothing? And how come there is often new items still with tags?
    I know this isn't really the focus of your post but I am fascinated! I want to come over there and go Goodwilling! I know it's not even a word but I like it! xxxx

    • Curtise, your Value Villages and charity shops equally fascinate me, and you seem to have access to a much larger vintage clothing selection than we do, at least in the southern USA.

      I'm sharing the link to the international Goodwill here: although I linked to Goodwill of NC in the post. Essentially, community-based Goodwill stores accept and then sell donated goods to raise funds for vocational programs designed to help people get jobs. I grew up with Goodwill, which I just learned was founded in 1902 (see I'm learning too). Donations are tax deductible and large Goodwill donation trucks, manned by at least one person, are at many large grocery stores, making it easy to donate when you pick up the family's food ๐Ÿ™‚ It actually sounds very much like your charity shops, except perhaps with a larger organization spread across our country.

  3. I freakin love the "grandma jacket"! Nice work!!! There is a fancy goodwill by my office, where they send all of the nicer name brand items. It's awesome, I have found some awesome things there. It's more than regular goodwill but worth it if you find a gem. I need to haul myself to regular goodwill this week… love thrifting and seeing all of your great finds has inspired me!

    • I would be in heaven but perhaps broke if we had a fancy Goodwill close by! I think this central one might be our equivalent of "fancy". There was a huge difference between the smaller ones I've visited and this one. We do have several excellent consignment shops which carry even better brands but more expensive. However, when you have a credit, that equals good times ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow, what a massive haul! That's just awesome. I love the idea of a round-up, but we don't have Goodwill stores here, oddly, just Salvation Army and Value Village and St. Vincent de Paul.

    I loved featuring other bloggers so much for Dress Week, that I'm going do it going forward, AND I'm going to do something special for my b-day next month.

    • Sheila, I'm including anything bought from a charity-based organization, because I know many of my friends don't have Goodwill in their countries. There are a lot of great charity shops and non-profit organizations selling donated goods to raise funds. I know Megan and I really scored when we visited the Salvation Army Mission Shop in Nashville, Tennessee.

      I can't wait to see what you have coming up next!

  5. Snakeskin pants! Plaid skirt! Plaid blazer! Coral-y circle-y print top! I am beside myself with the amazing thrifting! This fantastic haul can't help but make your wardrobe feel a whole lot better immediately. So awesome to be so fabulous even when budget rules.

    Love your round-up idea, glad to hear that us non-Goodwill-havers can play too – thanks, Lynne! Also, can't wait to see how you style these great pieces.

  6. Great haul! That is so nice that you have a decent goodwill by you. There is a new one opening up near me that will hopefully be less of a hole in the wall than the last one I visited. There are a few consignment shops nearby, but their prices are high for what they have. If I am going to be reusing someone's old clothes they can't be 50% of retail. I could have gotten it on sale for that!

  7. Right, I will get on this! My equivalent (as above) in the UK are charity shops. I will put together a charity shop outfit for you, deadline noted ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am do glad to be part of a community that embraces second hand /thrifted /charity shop / consigned shoos. People can be surprised when I say about half my stuff has had a prior owner! It pushes me to try new colours and styles, and encourages me to donate god stuff,to encourage good clothes karma!

  8. I love it when you can find amazing things for such little money at thrift stores. it's like guilt-free shopping.
    sometimes it can get a little out of hand and sometimes you buy stuff just because of a label that is actually hideous. but it's fun.
    can't wait to see all your new closet additions!
    Chic on the Cheap

  9. Not gonna lie, I'm looking forward to seeing those snakeskin pants.

    I'm TOTALLY in on the GW Boutique roundup–let's see if I can't build an entirely-GW-sourced outfit for the occasion! (Shouldn't be hard, 75% of my wardrobe is from there or another thrift store at this point.)

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workersโ€™ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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